Our colorful sweet potato-apple casserole is a great side dish to add to the holiday dinner table this year and it is a nice change-up from the candied sweet potato casserole that is so popular.
This is a savory-sweet casserole with the sweetness coming from the natural sugar in the yellow sweet potatoes and bright red apples. The savory is from a sauce made of shallots and garlic as well as a touch of white wine, seasoning, fresh thyme leaves and melted butter.
The sweet potatoes are peeled and sliced thinly. The apples are left un-peeled but with the cores removed and also thinly sliced.
I used an apple core tool pushed through the center of the apple to remove the core but a knife and melon ball scoop will also work.
I used my mandoline to slice both the potatoes and apples to the same thickness so they would cook evenly. If you do not have a mandoline just do the best you can with a knife.
The sweet potatoes and apples are alternated and arranged attractively on their sides around the inside edge and center of the casserole dish.
The savory sauce is poured over the potatoes and apples, then the casserole is oven-baked until the potatoes are tender-firm with a crispy golden crust.
When I was growing up our holiday dinner table always had a casserole of candied yams or candied sweet potatoes. It was overly sweet with brown sugar and maple syrup then heaped with marshmallows and baked until the marshmallows melted and turned golden.
I loved that casserole when I was a kid and it just would not have been a holiday without it.
As an adult I continued the tradition with our family for many years until I finally I realized that each year I was tossing out most of the un-eaten casserole.
How many tossed casseroles does it take to admit defeat? I finally had to acknowledge that my traditional, dessert-like recipe for sweet potato casserole was not that popular with our family. Boo hoo.. old traditions die hard.
This sweet potato-apple casserole makes a great replacement for that old tradition and I know we will not have any left-overs.
More side dishes to consider:
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- 3 pounds yellow sweet potatoes, peeled (See Note #1)
- 2 apples,….I used bright red Delicious apples
- 1 lemon, juiced *(See Note #2)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup butter (half stick)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°F Grease or spray the insides of a 2-quart round, lidded casserole dish about 3-4 inches deep.
- With a sharp knife or mandoline cut the peeled sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices and set aside.
- Remove the apple core from each of the apples and discard. Cut the apples into 1/4-inch thick slices, place them into a large bowl and toss with the juice from the lemon. Set aside
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the olive oil and when it has warmed add the shallot and cook just until softened, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the white wine, salt and pepper and cook for another 30-45 seconds or until the alcohol has burned off. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the butter, stirring until it has completely melted. Drain the lemon juice off of the reserved apples and add to the saucepan.
- Start by using the largest slices of sweet potatoes and apples. Place 2 slices of the sweet potatoes on their side along the inside edge of the prepared dish. Add1 apple slice next to the potatoes, then another set of potato slices and another apple slice. Continue arranging the potatoes and apples around the outside edge of the dish. Arrange additional sets of sweet potatoes and apples to the center of the dish. *(See Note #3)
- Spoon the saucepan mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes and apples. Scatter the fresh thyme leaves over the top, add the lid and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender but still a little firm and the top has browned slightly.
- Use potatoes that are about 3 to 3 1/2-inches in diameter and about the same diameter as the apples.
- The lemon juice will keep the apples from oxidizing while preparing the savory sauce.
- When arranging the slices, If you have remaining apples, just insert them discriminately between the sweet potatoes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 3g